The Meertens Tune Collections

With the Meertens Tune Collections (MTC) the Meertens Institute provides a rich set of collections of musical data for research purposes, such as musicological investigations or music information retrieval tasks. Over the past decades, these data have been collected in the Database of Dutch Songs. The online interface of the Database of Dutch songs provides access at the level of individual records through extensive search and browse functionality. With the MTC, several collections are provided as a whole. MTC currently consist of the following collections:

NameDescriptiondata typesversion
MTC-OGLAUDIOCollection Onder de groene linde: 7178 audio recordings collected by Dutch field workers during the 1950s-1980s.mp31.0
MTC-OGLSCANSScans of 3754 transcriptions of recordings from Onder de groene linde as made during the 1950s-1980s. The music is hand-written, the lyrics are typed.jpg1.0
MTC-FS4120 digitally encoded vocal folk songs both from Onder de groene linde (2503) and from various related written sources (1617).**kern, midi, lilypond, png, pdf, txt1.0
MTC-INST2368 digitally encoded instrumental tunes from 18th-century Dutch manuscripts and printed scores.**kern, midi, lilypond, png, pdf1.0
MTC-ANNAnnotated Corpus: 360 melodies used in various publications.**kern, midi, png, pdf1.0
MTC-ANNAnnotated Corpus: 360 melodies used in various publications.**kern, midi,lilypond, png, pdf, txt1.1
MTC-ANNAnnotated Corpus: 360 melodies used in various publications.**kern, midi,lilypond, png, pdf, txt2.0
MTC-ANNAnnotated Corpus: 360 melodies used in various publications.**kern, midi,lilypond, png, pdf, txt2.0.1
MTC-LCLarge Corpus: 4830 melodies used in various publications.**kern, midi1.0

MTC-LC has a large overlap with both MTC-FS and MTC-INST. It is provided because it has been used for various research publications. MTC-ANN is a subset of MTC-LC that is carefully selected for small scale experiments and that has been annotated concerning melodic similarity and motif occurrences. It contains 26 tune families.

A concise description of the MTC is available in the following reports:

Van Kranenburg, Peter & Martine de Bruin & Louis P. Grijp & Frans Wiering. "The Meertens Tune Collections". Meertens Online Reports, No. 2014-1. Amsterdam: Meertens Institute, 2014. download pdf.

Van Kranenburg, Peter & Berit Janssen & Anja Volk. "The Meertens Tune Collections: The Annotated Corpus (MTC-ANN) Versions 1.1 and 2.0.1". Meertens Online Reports, No. 2016-1. Amsterdam: Meertens Institute, 2016. download pdf.

If you use this data for a research paper, please cite one of these reports.

The melodies are provided in **kern format. Furthermore, pdf and png files of the scores are provided, as well as midi files, lilypond sources, and separate files with the (syllablized) lyrics.

The collections come with a wealth of meta data. Some highlights: most melodies have a tune family label, which connects variants of the same tune. Several levels of membership are indicated. For the audio recordings, we provide date and location (longitude and latitude) of recording and date of birth and place of birth of the singer(s). For all folk song melodies, phrase endings are indicated. Meta data is provided in comma-separated text files (csv) in UTF8 encoding.

Some Music Information Retrieval tasks that could be addressed with this data set:

To get a quick idea of the contents of MTC, a sample dataset containing a small subset of each collection is available for download:

To download follow this link: download form. We appreciate when you drop us your name, a comment (optionally) and your email address (optionally). The email addresses will exclusively be used for future notifications about MTC, and will under no circumstance be shared with third parties.

The Meertens Tune Collections were demonstrated during the 15th and 16th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conferences.
Download poster 2014. Download poster 2015.

Permament and sustainable storage of MTC is guaranteed by the Meertens Institute.

Peter van Kranenburg,

Creative Commons License
Meertens Tune Collections by Meertens Institute is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at

The Meertens Tune Collections have been used in the following publications:

Last change: November 14th, 2016